India and New Zealand will face off in the third ODI at the PCA IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali on Sunday.
The visitors registered a crucial victory in the second ODI to level the series 1-1. The win was not only important in terms of the result of this series, but will also give Kane Williamson’s men a much needed confidence boost after getting whitewashed in the Test series and losing the first ODI.
Incidentally, Thursday’s victory was New Zealand’s first win over the Men in Blue in an ODI in India since 2003.
On the other hand, India will look to bounce back after a disappointing batting performance in New Delhi. The inability of the Indian batsmen to convert their starts into big scores is likely to worry MS Dhoni the most.
DATE, TIME, VENUE INFO
Date: October 23
Time: 12:00 GST, 13:30 local time (IST), 08:00 GMT
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali.
WHERE TO WATCH, LIVE STREAMING INFO
TV: UAE – OSN Sports Cricket HD, India – Star Sports 1, HD 1 (English), Star Sports 3, HD 3 (Hindi), UK – Sky Sports 3 HD
Online streaming: hotstar.com, Hotstar app (in India only)
LIVE blog: Sport360.com/livescore
TEAM NEWS, SQUAD, PREDICTED XI
INDIA SQUAD: MS Dhoni (c), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav.
India, who looked invincible in the Test series and the first ODI, were brought down to earth by some disciplined bowling from New Zealand on Thursday.
Rohit Sharma suffered a shoulder injury while batting in the second ODI and that could be an area of concern for the Indian team. If Rohit does miss out, then expect Mandeep Singh to take his place.
It is still uncertain if Suresh Raina, who missed the first two ODIs due to illness, will recover in time for the game in Mohali. Even if the Uttar Pradesh batsman is available for selection, one shouldn’t be surprised if Kedar Jadhav keeps his place in the XI after an impressive cameo in Delhi.
With Axar Patel picking up just one wicket in the first two ODIs, Jayant Yadav could get his chance instead.
PREDICTED INDIA XI: Rohit, Rahane, Kohli, Pandey, Dhoni (c/wk), Jadhav, Pandya, Jayant, Mishra, Yadav, Bumrah.
NEW ZEALAND SQUAD: Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Anton Devcich, Matt Henry, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.
The Kiwis took the risk of playing just five bowlers – with one of them being Anton Devcich – in the second ODI at New Delhi, but the gamble paid off as they won the match by six runs. Devcich bowled nine overs without any success, but Martin Guptill picked up two scalps from just one over.
Despite Guptill’s heroic over, expect New Zealand to go with five regular bowlers in the third ODI. Jimmy Neesham could well make a return to the team after being dropped for the Delhi ODI.
Ross Taylor’s form is still a worry for the Kane Williamson-led side, but don’t expect him to be dropped yet.
New Zealand will be hoping for a bigger contribution from their lower middle-order with Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi particularly effective.
PREDICTED NEW ZEALAND XI: Guptill, Latham, Williamson (c), Taylor, Anderson, Ronchi (wk), Neesham, Santner, Southee, Henry, Boult.
(Last five matches – with latest match first)
INDIA: L W W W W
NEW ZEALAND: W L W L W
India to win.
Having missed a first Test in five years after sitting out Pakistan’s series opening win in Dubai last week after a bout of dengue fever, Younis Khan would have been forgiven had he not hit the ground running in Abu Dhabi.
But, on day one of the second Test, Younis eased back into the side with his 33rd Test century just weeks after being hit by the mosquito-borne virus.
There was no obvious hangover from Younis’ illness, Pakistan’s highest ever Test run-scorer glad for his extended break in order to fully recover and make an instant impact.
“I was actually [still feeling side effects], that’s why I asked the selection committee to not actually play that first game because at that time I had no energy,” said Younis who lost more than seven kilograms during his illness.
“If I was here at that time I would have suffered. That last ten days I was doing my preparation and now I feel a little bit rusty because my last game was on 14 August so it’s almost two months so that’s why I was a little bit rusty but I feel that my fitness is there.”
There is Younis Khan's 33rd Test century. What a player. Another brilliant innings that has been a pleasure to watch.— Barny Read (@BarnabyRead) October 21, 2016
If Younis was rusty then he hid it well in a fluent innings of 127, only ended with the final ball of the day as light closed in.
Together with his captain Misbah-ul-Haq, the pair took their team to a position of power after a slow start that saw West Indies pick up two wickets in the first 14 overs on a flat, slow Abu Dhabi track.
The two most experienced players in the Pakistan team made history in their 175-run fourth wicket partnership as Pakistan’s most successful batting pair and Younis attributes their volume of runs to understanding and how they thrive on taking responsibility as the senior statesmen.
“There’s no secret [to our partnership], we have the responsibility to carry and the responsibility is always there for us, so that’s why me and Misbah, whenever we play together, know that 200 or 300 is more important for our team. It is the combination of the seniors and we have the responsibility on our shoulders,” said Younis.
“Me and Misbah, the way we play, everybody knows we like to take our time, and then suddenly we go after the spinner or the fast bowler as well. I think it is all about the mental preparation.”
Both Younis and Misbah were both given lives by the West Indians, chances coach Toby Radford rued.
“[The dropped chances were] very frustrating really as we toiled very hard on what was obviously a very flat wicket today,” said Radford who felt Younis’ pain having also suffered from dengue fever while in Barbados.
“We got those two early wickets this morning and for those two to go down, it could have been a very different looking scorecard overnight.”
New Zealand made good of their promise to fight back in the ODI series as they clinched a six-run win over India in what turned out to be a nail-biter in New Delhi. The match see-sawed until the visitors emerged victorious.
Kane Williamson will be glad because of his personal form with the bat as well as the fight that his boys showed in levelling the series.
Here are five things we learnt from the fascinating contest.
NEW ZEALAND BOWLERS COME OUT ON TOP
The Kiwis lost the plot in the last ten overs while they were batting, losing five quick wickets. They could thus manage to reach only 242 when they looked good for more at one stage.
India looked all set to chase down the total but made things difficult for themselves by losing wickets in clusters. When they lost MS Dhoni, Axar Patel and Amit Mishra, it looked all but over for them until Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav stitched together a crucial partnership that brought them close.
Pandya’s dismissal in the 49th over swung the match decisively in the favour of the Kiwis. The New Zealand bowlers were on top for the most part despite the little slip up towards the end.
They did not give enough width for the likes of Dhoni and Pandya. Tim Southee and Trent Boult also mixed up their slower deliveries and bouncers really well.
Although there was a lot of comparison between Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli leading up to New Zealand’s tour of India, the Blackcaps skipper largely disappointed in the tour until the New Delhi ODI. Even though he looked to be in decent form, he was not able to kick on when it was most required.
A Williamson century was in the reckoning for some time now and he delivered at last in what turned out to be a match-winning knock. His 118 off 128 balls was largely a sedate knock, but it proved to be the backbone of the New Zealand innings.
The Kiwis did make things difficult for themselves in the end by losing wickets in a rush, but Williamson’s knock stood out in a match where no other batsman could even manage a half-century.
PANDYA FALLS AT THE FINAL HURDLE
Hardik Pandya has got off to a dream start in his first ODI series. In the first match, his three wickets with the ball won him the Man of the Match award. Had Pandya been able to pull off a win in the second ODI with the bat, he would’ve been a hero for some time to come.
He did bat out of his skin and received considerable support from Umesh Yadav; the duo took up a lost cause when India had been reduced to 183 for 8.
Supported by his partner, Pandya ran well between the wickets and hit some crucial boundaries to take India within range of a famous win. The rash shot he played to get out was unnecessary at the time and he knew that straightaway as he held his head in his hands.
India were within touching distance and an adventurous shot of a Boult bouncer was unnecessary. Maturity will come with experience, but for now, Pandya has shown enough promise as the possible pace-bowling all-rounder that India have long been searching for.
India might not win this. But until that last shot Pandya's calm gave hope. Dhoni should teach him to take it to the last over. #IndvNZ— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) October 20, 2016
THIRD UMPIRE AND SOFT SIGNALS
One of the worst things about cricket is that, although it gladly welcomes new changes, it remains rigid about some otherwise inexplicable rules. One of these is the convention followed by the third umpire to rely on the soft signal by the on-field umpire while making decisions.
Ajinkya Rahane looked well set when he hooked a short delivery to deep fine-leg. As Corey Anderson completed the catch, he put his hand up straight away to indicate that he was not sure. The decision was referred to the third umpire with the soft signal from the on-field umpire being out.
Even as replays indicated that the ball had bounced off the turf before being caught by Anderson, the third umpire decided to go with the umpire’s call and rule Rahane out.
Commentators Simon Doull and Ravi Shastri had already pointed out on air that the ball had bounced before hitting Anderson’s fingers. But according to the convention, the third umpire should go with the on-field umpire’s soft signal unless there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
This has also been the problem with DRS in the past as well. If a decision is referred to the third umpire, he should really be given full freedom to choose as he pleases and not rely on the soft signal.
Rahane’s dismissal proved to be crucial in turning the tide in the favour of the Kiwis in the middle overs.
TAYLOR AND DHONI – TWO CONFUSED SOULS?
Ross Taylor and MS Dhoni are two distinctly different players with contrasting styles. Yet, there is one point of overwhelming similarity between them – both of them are struggling at this moment.
Taylor never got going and put undue pressure on Williamson because of his inability to rotate the strike. As he tried to hit out of trouble, his over-reliance on the slog sweep let him down. The fact that it was the only shot he tried to manufacture from every ball made him very predictable.
Taylor is a fine player, but in his sluggish knock, he looked clueless and then fell into the trap set by India as he hit straight down the throat of the fielder positioned at deep square-leg.
Dhoni’s situation looks painfully similar albeit slightly more bizarre. He grafted and built, but the onslaught at the end never came. He kept eating up too many deliveries, leading to an increase in the asking rate.
Even when the time to accelerate came, there were some ill-timed slogs and misses after which Dhoni went back into a shell. He was reluctant to go after the bowling because he was clearly unsure of himself and tried preserving his wicket, hoping that the others around him would do the job.
The clock is ticking for India’s ODI skipper.